Tagged: “David Hume”

May I follow up on my question about humility? It seems to me that the value of humility has waned in the past few centuries. What do you think of this diminishing of the importance of humility in the eyes of the academic thinkers?

I think you are right that the negative view of humility within philosophy has been with us for centuries, with the writings of the Scottish philosopher David Hume and the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. For example, in the late 1800s, Nietzsche stated that those who try to humble themselves are actually trying to exalt the self. The famous philosophers Albert Camus and John Paul Sartre, in post-World War II France, split over the theme of humility. Whereas Camus embraced moral humility, rejected absolutism and violence, and acknowledged human fallibility, Sartre was not convinced (Dresser, 2017). I am not surprised, then, that philosophers such as David Hume have a negative view of forgiveness, which he called “a monkish virtue.”  I wonder what Mr. Hume did when holding resentment toward those who were less than fair to him.

Dresser, S. (2017). How Camus and Sartre split up over the question of how to be free.  Aeon, January 27, https://aeon.co/ideas/how-camus-and-sartre-split-up-over-the-question-of-how-to-be-free

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